The positive effects of staying hydrated are endless. Drinking the daily recommended amount of water provides you with a variety of health benefits including weight loss and weight management, healthier skin, and improved heart health. As you can see, there are plenty of healthy perks to drinking plain old water.

So, what about all of those trendy specialty waters that health enthusiasts are raving about these days? You’ve probably heard about the supposed boosted benefits of different types of water like alkaline water, antioxidant water, hydrogen water, and protein water. Let’s dive deeper into specialty H2Os and find out if they’re really worth the hype.


Alkaline Water

What makes ionized alkaline water different from regular water is its high pH balance, which is indicative of a lower level of acidity.

Avid alkaline water drinkers swear by its supposed ability to ward off disease. This claim stems from the belief that no known diseases can survive in an alkaline state. It’s also believed that alkaline water assists with weight loss, anti-aging, and bone health.

Researchers are torn about whether or not alkaline ionized water truly wards off disease. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, it’s true that diseases like cancer can only survive in acidic conditions, but this is only true in controlled lab environments. This research institution firmly stands by the theory that it’s impossible to change your body’s internal pH balance for the purpose of disease prevention.

While its disease-fighting abilities are questionable, alkaline water includes beneficial nutrients like sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Each of these electrolytes keeps your bodily fluids and pH levels balanced. They also provide a variety of other health benefits:

Sodium aids in anti-aging.

Potassium plays a key role in maintaining healthy kidneys and a healthy heart.

Calcium contributes to bone strength.

Magnesium aids in digestion and heart health.

It’s possible that alkaline water’s health benefits stem from the minerals that are added to it rather than its high pH balance. However, there’s still more research that needs to be done on this topic.


Antioxidant Water

Antioxidant nutrients like vitamin E and beta-carotene have long been associated with health benefits like improved cognitive function, a reduced risk of heart disease, and healthier skin. Because of these health claims, you’ll find many food and beverage products with added antioxidants including antioxidant water.

While you may have heard claims that drinking antioxidant water can lead to health benefits like acid reflux relief, cancer prevention, and a reduced risk of heart disease, studies regarding these claims have been inconclusive.

In fact, according to a report by Harvard University’s School of Public Health, foods and beverages with added antioxidants should not be considered a magic remedy for disease prevention. There’s no evidence to support the claim that isolated high doses of antioxidants can boost your body’s ability to ward off disease.

This report also highlights the fact that all antioxidants are not created equally, so when considering whether or not to give antioxidant water a try, it’s important to learn more about the benefits of each specific nutrient that has been added.

Antioxidants seem to provide the most benefits when they’re included in regular doses as a part of a balanced and healthy diet. Even if their disease-fighting properties are up for debate, antioxidant nutrients each provide a variety of other health benefits.


Hydrogen Water

This specialty H2O is created by adding hydrogen molecules to plain, pure water. Plain water is full of hydrogen to begin with, hence the “H” in H2O.

Those who rave about hydrogen water claim that it provides a variety of health benefits like improved athletic ability, anti-aging, and reduced inflammation.

For those who suffer from metabolic syndrome, hydrogen water may be an effective remedy. One of the main symptoms of metabolic syndrome is high cholesterol.

A study included in the Journal of Lipid Research found that drinking 30 to 34 ounces of hydrogen water each day can lower LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) levels while simultaneously increasing HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) levels.

This balancing of cholesterol levels may be a result of claims that hydrogen water can reduce inflammation, which is thought to contribute to this condition.

Research has also shown that there may be some truth behind claims that hydrogen water can improve athletic performance.

One study involving male soccer players concluded that those who drank 51 ounces of hydrogen water ended up experiencing less muscle fatigue after participating in physical activity.

Protein Water

Most brands of protein water are made by adding protein powder, artificial sweeteners, and flavoring.

Protein water is marketed as a post-workout hydration option that aids in muscle recovery and repair. Many people drink protein water as a lower calorie alternative to protein shakes and smoothies.

It’s true that protein water can add to your daily dietary requirements. Some of the most popular protein waters on the market contain up to 20 grams of protein per serving.

It’s important to note, however, that most people get more than enough protein from their regular daily diets. There are also many other more nutritionally beneficial options when it comes to increasing your protein intake.

Overall, protein water is safe to consume, but not necessary. If you’re watching your daily calorie intake, then you should be aware that protein water is not calorie-free. Those who are on a dairy-free diet or who have sensitivities should also note that most protein waters contain whey.  

Although these specialty H2Os may provide a few health and taste benefits, it’s easy to reap the benefits they provide from a healthy, balanced diet and plain old water!